Mar 26, 2015

A Timely Auction of Masters Memorabilia and Vintage Golf Collectibles






















The month of March is on the wane and Masters week is fast approaching.  A select group of golf fans will soon be heading to Augusta, while many others look forward to viewing parties and local Masters events... or maybe just a relaxing weekend on the couch, taking in televised views of lush green fairways and trying out the occasional introspective Jim Nantz impression.  

The social networks are alive with Masters chatter as final plans are being made, and desperate fans look for a last minute ticket... or two.  And with all this anticipation of the imminent April orgy of azaleas and undulating greens, the timing is perfectly optimal for a golf auction.

As specialists in the authentication, appraisal and auctioning of golf antiques and collectibles this would clearly be a moment for Green Jacket Auctions to shine, and to that end an auction of amazing golf memorabilia went live there yesterday and will run through April 11.

Just a few of the fabulous... and curious... items on the block in the current Green Jacket Auction are: an original Augusta National club member's green jacket, rare Masters programs from golf's golden age and a selection of highly collectible, multi-chromatic Masters Badges... the ones that sometimes festoon the hats of longtime patrons.

Several months ago I wrote about Green Jacket Auctions in reference to a whimsical tee marker I missed out on. This time I have eye my on something which I will not name (why draw attention/competition to my coveted... item) suffice to say it will be perfect in my garden, and I intend to win it.

I'll definitely be keeping up with the bidding from Augusta, where I'll be spending a few days. I've just got to remember not to let any old golf tournaments distract me too much.

If you're looking for Masters tickets please check with our sponsor, Ticket City.




Mar 17, 2015

In Town & On Course With A Marvelous, Multi-Tasking Little Black Dress

 The LBD, a staple in the city, can work just as well on the golf course. This one from TheDailyLook is a perfect multi-tasker.

Here in New England, we're finally emerging from what seemed like an interminable winter, and for most of us frost-bitten Yankees, Spring can't come quickly enough.  

In fact, I'm guessing there'll be a record number of northerners taking Spring Breaks over the next several weeks as even the most die-hard snow bunnies seek to enjoy a prelude to the kind of balmy days and blossoming landscapes that won't grace our region till the end of April. If we're lucky.

For readers of this publication, golf may well be part of the incentive to head south for an avant goût of warmer climes.  If it is... and if you're anything like me... you're probably pondering over ways you can keep your baggage at a minimum, because who needs the inconvenience... and, these days, the expense... of superfluous luggage. 

There are numerous variables to consider, particularly concerning golf clubs and whether to bring them, ship them or rent them at your destination.  I won't go into that in this particular post, but will definitely be obsessing writing about it as I plan my own upcoming trip; a trip that'll likely include a couple of evenings out, a day or two at the beach and a few rounds of golf... including a practice round at Augusta National where, needless to say, I myself will be spectating, not practicing (insert ultra-disappointed emoji here).  READ MORE -->



Mar 10, 2015

Sleep Awareness Week - Catching Up With LPGA Golfer Nicole Jeray

When it comes to athletic performance... particularly in a sport like golf... an ample amount of good quality sleep is an essential element. Because concentration, coordination, focus and energy are dependent on the regular acquisition of adequate Zs.

That's what makes professional golfer, Nicole Jeray's story so extraordinary.  The naturally athletic Illinois native began playing golf at age 11. She quickly excelled at the sport and it wasn't long before she was being encouraged to aim for a professional golf career.

"I had a lot of success on my way to becoming a professional player on the LPGA in 1994. I won the 1990 Ohio Girls Invitational and was a semifinalist at the 1991-1992 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships. I also won eight titles while playing collegiate golf at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and won the MVP award from 1989-1992. In 1998, NIU inducted me in the University Hall of Fame. I was the youngest person ever to be inducted"

The thing is, as Nicole was enjoying her substantial on-course successes she was also experiencing some disconcerting physical symptoms.  Many of them were, sleep-related... things we can all relate to to some extent... daytime sleepiness, interrupted sleep and a kind of chronic exhaustion. At the time, the physicians Nicole saw chalked her complaints up to "being a typical college student; burning the candle at both ends and never getting enough rest".  As time went on however, Nicole's symptoms became more extreme; she began to experience sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations. Cataplexy, a temporary muscle paralysis triggered by strong emotions, kicked in as well. It was only after the aspiring professional golfer connected with a sleep specialist and underwent some specialized studies that a definitive diagnosis was reached, a diagnosis that would become a huge part of her life.  Nicole had a classic, text-book case of Narcolepsy, the chronic neurological disorder involving loss of the brain's ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. 

Last week was National Sleep Awareness Week.  On Friday, as we prepared to set our clocks forward for daylight savings time, I had the opportunity to talk to Nicole about Narcolepsy and about how it's affected her health, her golf career and her outlook on life.  Nicole is an inspiring and entertaining speaker and our conversation was fun and revealing.  Here are some of the highlights: -->


Mar 4, 2015

The Masters: An Historic Event, An Iconic Course, A Coveted Ticket

This post is in partnership with Ticket City. 

Tickets to the Masters are, by their very nature, elusive.

Though certainly one of the world's best known sporting events and most loved golf tournaments, there's a persistent element of mystery surrounding the Masters.

Augusta National, the cloistered course that hosts the tournament each year,  is a real life Brigadoon; an enchanted place with a frozen-in-time feeling, that opens itself for just a few fleeting days a year to the outside world.  

The fact that only a select few manage to gain entry during each annual ouverture, makes a visit to the Masters a wildly sought after experience for both golfers and non-golfers alike. Not surprisingly this collective longing has only deepened the mystery... and enhanced the mythology... surrounding the coveted tickets.  How then, does one manage to get in?

Since I started writing about golf nearly a decade ago, I've been asked that question more times than I can remember, and to be honest it took me a couple of years of sifting through fact and folklore to arrive at an understanding of the process and its possibilities. So here's the deal.  -------> READ MORE ->


Feb 26, 2015

Golf Logos: Where Marketing & Design Meet Fairways & Greens

Just a few of my favorite golf logos                                                via Patricia Hannigan on Pinterest
The silhouette of a golfer with the scales of justice suspended from his iron... a wicker-topped flagstick set against a tuft of Scotch Broom... and a scotty dog decked out in red argyle: These are three of my favorite golf logos. Though, truth be told, I have lots of favorite golf logos.

Some are refreshingly whimsical while others feature more traditional aesthetic. What they have in common however is the ability to convey their golf brand's message in a way that's visually engaging and... memorable.

When writers weigh in on golf's best logos, as they sometimes will, the focus is often on golf courses, with Winged Foot, Pine Valley, Kapalua and the aforementioned Merion garnering frequent praise. However the most popular golf course logo has got to belong to Whistling Straits. It features a foreboding bearded face seemingly carved in stone. The inspiration is said by some to have been Herbert Kohler Jr, the colorful Kohler Company CEO who engaged Pete Dye to design the challenging Wisconsin course. Golf.com called the Whistling Straits logo badass, which is probably an apt description.

Personally, I tend to favor lesser known golf logos, the ones that represent innovative golf brands... startups with distinctive identities;  Black Girl's Golf, Tee to Table and Practical Golf are good examples.  

A brand's logo can be a key element in establishing its identity and differentiating itself from competition. They're also a great way for a brand to showcase it's creativity. To see a wide variety of golf logos and find out more about the companies behind them, head over to Pinterest where you'll find golf logos by the hundreds.




Feb 19, 2015

Pebble Beach, Where Golf Memories Are Made... and Shared With the World

AT&T National Pebble Beach ProAm                                                                                                                                                         photo: Dan McLaughlin



Pebble Beach: It's certainly one of the most photogenic... and most photographed... golf courses in the world.

Whether you're playing the fabled course or attending an event there, chances are you'll find yourself reaching for your camera constantly. It can even be a tad bit distracting if you're attempting to go low with limited skills.  But the memories you'll capture... the breathtaking coastal vistas, the perfectly sculptured greens, or the beaming selfies you take on 18 with your playing partners... will more than justify a few high numbers.

As the AT&T National Pebble Beach ProAm came to a close on Sunday afternoon... with Brandt Snedeker as 2015 Champion... Dan McLaughlin posted the photo above on Twitter.  Taken as the trophy presentation was about to begin... and just as a dense fog rolled in after a brilliantly sunny Sunday on the Monterey Peninsula.

Dan was one of four exceptional golfers who spent last week covering the event from the fan's perspective.  Invited... along with Katie Horsford, Tim Lang and Tiffany Fitzgerald... by AT&T, in celebration of 30 years with the Pebble Beach National ProAm, the foursome shared their photos with golf fans around the world as they experienced not only the tournament but also the rich history, superb facilities and extraordinary scenery that make Pebble Beach so memorable.  The lucky foursome will undoubtedly be sharing memories of their Pebble Beach experience for a long time to come.

So what course does a dedicated golfer dream about after playing Pebble Beach?  Ballybunion and the Old Course at St Andrews floated to the top of my list last year after I played Pebble. So I posed that question to Dan McLaughin and he came up with a course that wasn't even on my radar: Barndougle Dunes Golf Links in... Tasmania, Australia. So I checked it out and indeed, it looks spectacular, but for me... and I'm guessing Dan, Kate, Tim and Tiffany feel the same... another trip to Pebble Beach is right up there too.


Feb 16, 2015

Season Plans at Pound Ridge Golf Club, New York's Only Pete Dye Design

Here in New England... with temperatures entrenched in single digits and a landscape that's been shrouded in snow for weeks ... golf may not currently be top-of mind.   

However... implausible as it may seem... daylight savings time begins in just three weeks, and golf will soon follow. 

So now's the time to think of solidifying the golf season ahead.

For those in or around the Fairfield, CT/Westchester NY area, Pound Ridge Golf Club, Westchester County’s award-winning daily fee course, has announced its 2015 Golf Plans.

Pound Ridge is a superlative course by any standards. New York's only Pete Dye Design, the course has received numerous accolades and made myriad "top course" lists.

I had the pleasure of playing at Pound Ridge Golf Club in the fall, and was ultra-impressed by the expansive vistas and dramatic rock formations that defined the visual experience. But what really made my round remarkable was how much fun it was!  Thanks to the Dye's brilliant design, incorporating five sets of tees, golfers of widely varying skill levels can find both the challenge and the playability that makes for a wonderful, memorable round.  I definitely look forward to playing Pound Ridge in the Spring.

2015 Golf Plans at Pound Ridge Golf Club, featuring Individual and Deluxe options.
New for 2015, the Deluxe Plan is a $15,000 debit account offering the holder and all guests 20% off peak weekday and weekend rates. The Individual Plan is a $3,000 debit account entitling the holder to 10% off applicable green fees. Both plans include exclusive access to the entire 2015 tee sheet for booking advance tee times, are non-refundable, non-transferable and for golf, only.
"The Deluxe and Individual Plans are two strong values for serious players who relish convenience and exclusivity," says Pound Ridge General Manager Todd Leavenworth. "Paired with the recent expansion of the clubhouse, these annual programs present a viable alternative to the multi-year commitment of private clubs."
For game tracking and improvement, the Individual Plan includes USGA handicap tracking via GHIN and use of all practice facilities (range, short game area and putting green) 4 p.m. to close, Monday through Thursday (April - Oct.). For more information, visit http://www.poundridgegolf.com/golf-plans or call the golf shop at 914.764.5771.